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Law Council of Australia

Business Law Section

Standards Australia proposed update to the AS 4000 General Conditions of Contract

This submission concerning Standards Australia’s public consultation about its proposed update to the AS 4000 General Conditions of Contract is made by the Construction and Infrastructure Committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia (the Committee).

The Committee thanks Standards Australia and its MB-010 committee members for progressing the update of AS 4000 to this point. An update to AS 4000 and the other documents in Standards Australia’s suite of construction contracts, most of which were last updated before the new millennium, is long overdue. The Committee is pleased to have been part of this initiative, via its representative on the MB-010 committee.

The Committee understands that the MB-010 committee was given a narrow mandate for the update, which prevented the committee from proposing any changes that would impact the contract’s risk allocation. The Committee considers that the ‘no change to risk allocation’ mandate has prevented the MB-010 committee from proposing changes to AS 4000 that would respond to the changing needs of many users of the standard form.

The Committee suggests that Standards Australia should broaden the scope of the review (or commence a fresh review with a broader scope) to permit the MB-010 committee to consider the range of issues commonly arising, so as to meet the changing demands of industry users. The below suggestions are not comprehensive, and the Committee would welcome the opportunity to provide a comprehensive list, if invited to do so.

Read the full submission below.

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